Two Thornton Fractional High School District 215 teachers have been recognized for their abilities in the classroom, the district announced in separate news releases.
Kerry Griffin, social studies teacher at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, has received a Those Who Excel award of merit from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Matthew Tiffy, of Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, has been nominated by a former T.F. South student for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award.
John Bryk, assistant principal of building control, nominated Griffin, a T.F. North teacher for the past four years.
"Her dedication and enthusiasm for teaching and service to students is unparalleled and is evident by her commitment each and every day," Bryk said.
"(Griffin) has the ability to touch the lives of many children positively and I have come to expect her to excel in any role in which she is placed based on her outstanding performance during her entire tenure at Thornton Fractional North High School,” he said.
Superintendent Creg E. Williams said Griffin’s passion for education and ability to motivate students is inspiring.
In addition to her teaching duties, Griffin also serves as a sponsor for several student clubs and is the girls volleyball and softball coach.
Tiffy, a U.S. history teacher, said he was "totally shocked" to hear he was nominated for the prestigious award.
Each year, entering first-year students at the University of Chicago nominate educators who made a difference in their lives and contributed to their intellectual growth. T.F. South alum Erica Maricich nominated Tiffy for the award. In her essay, Maricich wrote “He (Mr. Tiffy) became more than a teacher; he became a source of support, friendship, and inspiration ... I am so thankful for having been one of his students."
"We are very proud that one of our teachers has received this prestigious recognition,” Williams said.
Tiffy, who also serves as head baseball coach, said he was humbled by the nomination.
The dean’s office at T.F. North also received an award of recognition from the Those Who Excel award program. All honorees, including Griffin and dean’s office staff members, will be recognized at a banquet Saturday in Normal, Ill.